Five things the Jets must do to save Todd Bowles’ job

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The Jets are hurtling toward their fourth straight year of missing the playoffs under coach Todd Bowles. And, understandably, a lot of angry fans are calling for his job.

But is Bowles actually going to get fired? Acting owner Christopher Johnson said that there would be no playoff mandate from him this season. For Johnson, progress was the most important thing. 

The Jet are three games under .500 after nine games. That’s worse than last year’s 4-5 record at the same point — certainly not progress. And even though Bowles is under contract through the 2020 season, after signing an extension last year, it's hard to imagine the Jets standing pat if things are clearly slipping.

The players insist it’s not Bowles’ fault. But this is a results-based business. At some point, the Jets need to prove that what Bowles is preaching can translate into success on the football field.

So with seven games remaining, and the playoffs probably out of reach again, here’s what the Jets have to show if they want to save Bowles' job. 

Better play from Sam Darnold

Nothing is more important than the development of the Jets’ 21-year-old rookie quarterback. Bowles and his staff need to show that Darnold is getting better under their watch. 

There was progress through the first six games of the season, as Darnold seemed to be steadily improving. But the last three games have been a disaster. 

If Darnold plays better and shows improvement over the final seven games of the season, Bowles and his staff will have a strong argument that they’re the right people to develop the No. 3 pick. But if Darnold continues to struggle, the calls to bring in an offensive-minded head coach will reach a fever pitch. 

Better offense as a whole

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